A time out from a situation can give a chance to both parents and children to assemble their thoughts and regain the emotional balance. Leaving the place of conflict for a while, going for a short walk, getting some fresh air or sitting in some quite place for a while can provide some time to both the parties to calm themselves down. It is essential to find some peace in oneself before trying to make peace with your child. It is a smooth flow of thoughts which enables you to come up with effective solutions.
Another useful strategy to be adopted with a child who throws tantrums is to validate his feelings. Statements like “I understand that you’re frustrated. I am feeling the same too”; “I can see that you’re upset right now. Just give me few minutes of quietness to think about it” or “Let’s have something to eat first. We’ll both feel better and then we will discuss about it” are a powerful sources of emotional validation. Children usually respond quite positively when parents acknowledge their feeling. It instantly calms them down.
Once you take a break from the situation, try to figure out the causes of your child’s disruptive behavior e.g. emotional bullying can be his way of seeking attention, he might feel neglected, hungry, tired, sleepy, sad etc. A child’s emotional bullying is always an effect, it has some underlying causes that need to be considered and addressed. It is always helpful to encourage your child to speak his heart out and share what makes him so irritable. Once he opens up, do validate his feelings instead of snubbing, rejecting, making fun of, trivializing or negating his feelings. An effective and mature communication can defuse your child’s frustration and help him to reframe the entire situation.
Additionally, parents should always prefer meeting their children’s needs instead of their wants during such crucial moments. Wants usually emerge from unmet needs, so when a child wants something, you must figure out the underlying need which is left unmet. Effective communication also helps your child to understand his true feeling, whereas, strategies like punishing or surrendering cannot provide this opportunity to children. It is also importance to make it very clear to your child that emotional bullying or temper tantrums are not acceptable at all. Once, parents establish that they won’t give in to child’s unreasonable behaviors, it is important to remain firm on their stance and do not back off. Making huge statements and not following through turn out to be a big blow to parents’ writ against their children.
The third vital behavior is about praising child’s progress. After setting boundaries with the child, parents must learn the art of appreciation and encouragement of child’s positive behaviors. The encouraging statements like “I appreciate the way you are talking to me right now”; “I’m proud of the way you have just expressed yourself” or “You’re doing a great job, and it makes me so happy, keep it up!” can work wonders in reinforcing child’s desirable behaviors. It can also boost his self-confidence and make effective communication comparatively more rewarding for him.